Thursday, June 20, 2024
Thursday, June 20, 2024

Milwaukee Press Club 'Excellence in Wisconsin Journalism' 2020 & 2021 Award Winners

Is Penzeys Spices Racist? Why Are There No Stores in Milwaukee’s Inner City?


Is Bill Penzey a racist? Will the BLM stickers he’s giving away allow him to sleep better at night in his million-dollar suburban home?

We’re disgusted with white pandering liberals who trash Republicans for being “racist” and present themselves as the only people who care about the black community… but then don’t walk the walk. That brings us to Bill Penzey, the blowhard, anti-Republican perpetually ranting CEO of Penzeys Spices.

In the latest absurdity, Penzeys Spices announced that it is holding a special “Republicans Are Racists Weekend!” deal.

Yes, really. It’s right on the Penzeys Spices website. Bill Penzey has been ranting against Republicans and Donald Trump for some time. He’s known for it (after the Kenosha riots, he suggested “looting” his own store).

But guess what? We decided to take a look at where Bill Penzey has his Wisconsin stores, and not a single one is located in Milwaukee’s inner city, which has the state’s largest black population.

Bill penzey
Penzeys spices wisconsin locations

If Bill Penzey cares about black lives, why does he write off the black community as consumers, especially when the black community is disproportionately challenged with transportation out to the suburban locations?

Instead, multiple of his stores target largely white, affluent suburbs (like Delafield) or even a rural Wisconsin outlet mall (Johnson Creek).

But hey, he’s giving away 10 BLM stickers with each purchase.

Bill penzey

What a complete hypocrite.

Penzeys Spices locator map shows a single Penzeys Spices store in the City of Milwaukee. But it’s located downtown in the city’s business district at 638 N. Water St. The other Penzeys Spices Wisconsin stories are in Appleton, Brookfield, Cedarburg, Greenfield, Janesville, Johnson Creek, Kenosha, Madison (2 locations), Delafield, and Wauwatosa.

Furthermore, public records show Bill Penzey owns a million-dollar Wauwatosa home. The headquarters of Penzey Spices is also located, not in the heart of Milwaukee’s black community, but in Wauwatosa.

Bill Penzey on Waukesha County Residents

Penzey once trashed Waukesha County residents as people who “fled west” because they weren’t open to diversity. Why, then, does he sell spices to people he thinks are racists? Why doesn’t he live at 27th and Burleigh? Why doesn’t he invest in Milwaukee’s inner city by opening stores there, employing people who need jobs?


Penzeys Spices used to have a store in the inner city at 4144 N. 56th St., Milwaukee, in the midtown area. A story in the Milwaukee Courier said it opened in 2010.

But guess what? It’s closed. That location is not listed on the Penzeys Spices website store locator, and its phone number is disconnected. We called the downtown Milwaukee store on Water Street and asked if the N. 56th St. store was still open. They said no. We asked if Penzeys has any other stores in Milwaukee besides the downtown Water Street location, and they said there were stores in Greenfield and Cedarburg. Which are suburbs.

Is it fair to say that Bill Penzey fled west and south?

Bill penzey

Penzey also recently closed a Milwaukee store at 619 E. Silver Spring Drive in Whitefish Bay to move downtown. He said the Cedarburg store became more popular.

“Remember when Black Lives Matter started to have some success getting all of America to see how unfairly Black Americans are treated in this country and the importance of us all saying Black Lives Matter until Black lives start to be treated as though they do matter?” Penzey’s tirade began.

But why isn’t Bill Penzey acting like black consumers matter?

According to the site Reference for Business, it’s long been like this: “In 1987, Penzey moved his mail-order business to an 8,000 square-foot building in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, and, in 1990, moved it again to a new 25,000 square-foot facility in Waukesha, Wisconsin,” the site reports.

The Penzeys Spices web page says Penzeys has declared it “Republicans Are Racists Weekend!”

“Cheese Off Racists for Free!” It reads.

There are then three spice bottles, “China Cinnamon,” and “Mexican Oregano,” and “Penzeys Curry.”

The order contains free 10 BLM stickers because they have “earned our respect!”

On Jan. 6, 2022, Penzey sent out a marketing email that “unleashed on Republican voters at large, calling them the ‘#1 threat’ to the United States,” Fox Business reported. He also funded Facebook ads calling for the impeachment of President Donald Trump.

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Vice President Kamala Harris has a fight on her hands if she wants to inherit the Democratic presidential mantle after President Joe Biden’s time is over, according to a new poll.

The Politico/Morning Consult poll shows that voters have serious doubts about Harris’ electability.

The poll found only 14% of voters said it was “very likely” Harris would win a general election for president if she became the Democratic nominee. Another 20% said it was “somewhat likely.”

The poll is especially noteworthy given Biden's age. The incumbent president is 81 years old and appears increasingly in decline.

A moment of confusion for Biden at a June 6 D-Day ceremony went viral last week, the latest in a string of similar incidents. At the same time, Biden remains competitive with former President Donald Trump, though several polls suggest Trump has a lead over the president.

Biden's incidents have led some to speculate that Democrats could or should try to replace Biden at the Democratic convention in Chicago in August. That would be a highly unusual, though not impossible, move. Removing Biden would naturally raise the question about who could replace him, but for now voters seem to lack confidence that Harris could win.

The poll also looked ahead to 2028: “If President Joe Biden were not in the running for president in 2028, which of the following Democrats, if any, would you want to be the Democratic candidate for president?”

While Harris was top of the list among Democrats, she only received 21% support. California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg both received 10% support each, while 41% said they were unsure or didn't know.

Only 42% of those polled described Harris as trustworthy, and 44% described her as honest, according to the poll.

Notably, only 36% of those surveyed said Biden should replace Harris as his VP on the ticket.

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Evers recently called for an operational and an instructional audit of MPS.

“I’m proposing today to go two steps further with two important goals: the first, to audit MPS’ programs and operations in their entirety, and the second, to audit the effectiveness of teaching and instruction of our kids in classrooms across the district,” Evers said.

The governor, however, wants to keep the audit within his administration and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu said that’d be a mistake.

“I’m glad that Gov. Evers has called for an audit of the Milwaukee Public School System. Gov. Evers and DPI should work with Joint Legislative Audit Committee Co-Chairs [Eric] Wimberger and [Robert] Wittke to discuss authorizing the non-partisan Legislative Audit Bureau to audit MPS, DPI and any other involved stakeholders,” LeMahieu said. “The LAB is more than capable of handling this important undertaking independently and transparently without the use of outside contractors.”

The worry is an audit controlled by the governor’s office will not fully look into MPS’s shortcomings.

The calls for audits in Milwaukee Public Schools come after the state withheld nearly $17 million last week because of incomplete and late financial reports. One of those reports was due to the Department of Public Instruction in September 2023.

Evers has asked MPS leaders to be a part of any audit process but warned that not everyone will be invited.

“I also have to say – I’m exceedingly disappointed by the politicking and jockeying I’ve seen since this situation came to light by opportunists who’re seizing this moment to serve their own selfish goals instead of worrying about what matters most: our kids,” Evers added.

Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos took to social media to accuse the governor of being the one who is playing politics.

“And who do you think [Evers] will suggest conducts the audits?” Vos asked. “The same failed DPI bureaucrats who allowed this to happen or his administration who wanted to dismantle the school choice system so all kids were forced into this MPS mess? We need real reforms to the current mentality where MPS has been protecting the bureaucracy and Gov. Evers has been advocating for shoveling hundreds of millions of dollars into this broken system.”

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An industry group says the Biden administration’s new staffing regulations for long-term care facilities are unrealistic.

The mandate requires that all nursing homes that receive Medicare and Medicaid funding provide a total of at least 3.48 hours of nursing care per resident per day. Plus, nursing homes must have a registered nurse onsite at all times.

Research by shows 82%, or nearly 12,000 facilities in the U.S., will need to hire staff or face being shut down.

Spokesperson Corie Wagner said Illinois is home to the fifth highest number of understaffed nursing homes in the country.

“If we were to apply the new policies and new standards to nursing homes in Illinois today, 84% of facilities would need more staff, and that is really significant,” said Wagner.

The mandate will be phased in over three years, with rural communities having up to five years.

Nursing home operators strongly objected to the minimum staffing proposal in September, saying they already struggle to fill open positions.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in September announced a $75 million campaign to increase the number of nurses in nursing homes.

Nearly 1.2 million residents live in Medicare- and Medicaid-certified, long-term care facilities, but Wagner said that number is expected to increase.

“It’s called the Silver Tsunami, so more Americans are aged 65 or older than ever,” said Wagner. “It's one of the largest segments of our population but the infrastructure we have is not keeping up with our population shift.”

A resolution aimed at overturning Biden’s nursing home staffing mandate has a legitimate chance to pass the U.S. Senate.

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